Numbers 4:1-49


I.    Verse 1-33 - The work of the Levites.

A.  Verse 1-20 - The work of the Kohath's (The most dangerous)

1.      Verse 1,2 - The age of the Kohath workers is between 30 and 50 years old.  (The prime time of life - old enough to be responsible, but not so old as to lose strength in working.)  After the age of 50, their job is to train the younger priests.

2.      Verse 4-15 - The Kohathites must wait on instructions from Aaron and his sons.  God has said that only Aaron, the High Priest, was to go into the Holy of Holies, and that only once a year.  But since the Tabernacle must be moved, these laws are given for the proper covering (concealment) of the holy things.  This covering not only protected the holy items from rain and such, but also protected the lives of those who were not to look upon them.

B.   The items and how they are packed.

1.      Verse 5,6 - The ark of testimony.

a.   Covering vail - the vail between the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place.

b.   Badgers skins - a second covering, probably black or sky blue.  This denotes an outward ugliness and an inward purity.

c.   Blue cloth - a heavenly thing.

2.      Verse 7,8 - The Table of Shewbread.

a.   Blue cloth - (heavenly things) - put dishes, spoons, bowls, and covers and the continual bread offering.

b.   Cloth of scarlet - a sign of Royalty.

1.      Joshua 2:18 - Rahab letting down a scarlet thread.  She was trusting in royalty to set her free.

2.      II Sam. 1:24 - Clothed in scarlet, as a sign of royalty and riches.

3.      Prov. 31:21 - Service, clothed in scarlet.

4.      Dan. 5:29 - Daniel clothed in scarlet.

5.      Matt. 27:28 - Mocking, clothed Christ in scarlet.

6.      Rev. 17:3 - Anti-Christ on scarlet colored beast.

c.   Badgers skins - This denotes the outward ugliness and the inward purity.

3.      Verse 9,10 - Candlestick, lamps, tongs, snuff dishes, all of the oil vessels.

a.   Cloth of blue - Heavenly things.

b.   Badgers skins - This denotes the outward ugliness and the inward purity.

4.      Verse 11-14 - The Golden Altar and its various parts (The Altar of Incense).

a.   Cloth of blue - Heavenly things.

b.   Badgers skins - This denotes the outward ugliness and the inward purity.

c.   All instruments of ministering.

1.      Cloth of blue - heavenly things.

2.      Badgers skins - outward ugliness and the inward purity.

d.   Ashes of the altar - They kept not only some of the ashes, but were careful to keep the fire of the altar.

1.      Spread a purple cloth on it - symbol of royalty.

2.      Put on it censers, flesh hooks, shovels, basins, vessels of the altar.

3.      Cover with badgers skins - outward ugliness and inward purity.

C.   Verse 15-20 - Additional instructions to the Kohathites.

1.      Verse 15 - After Aaron and his sons have finished covering all the holy things, then shall Kohath go in to move them forward.  If the Kohath's help or see the Most Holy Things, they shall die.

2.      Verse 19,20 - Aaron and his sons must tell the Kohathites what to move and when to move it.  This will keep them alive.  Even though the Kohath's know what to do and when to do it, they must still wait on proper instructions.

3.      Verse 16 - The duty of Eleazar (the third born son of Aaron, but the oldest son alive) is to care for:

a.   Oil for the lamp - a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

b.   Sweet incense - the prayers of the saints.

c.   Daily meat (meal) offerings - required by the priests.

d.   Anointing oil - for total consecration to God.

e.   All oversight of Tabernacle - the place of worship.

f.    All inside it - required for worship.

g.   Even in the busy moments of moving (even at God's command), it is required that the daily worship of God be remembered.


II.   Verse 21-28 - The work of Gershon.

A.  The age is from 30-50 years old.

B.   The items.

1.      Curtains of the Tabernacle - the two vails.

2.   The Tabernacle of the covering - Ex. 26:1-14.

a.   The covering of linen.

b.   The covering of goats hair.

c.   The covering of rams skins dyed read.

d.   The covering of Badgers skins.

e.   The hanging in the east end of the Tabernacle.

f.    The hangings of the court and its gate.

C.   They shall only do this under the direct supervision and appointment of the priests (Aaron and his sons).


III. Verse 29-33 - The work of Merari

A.  The age is from 30-50 years old.

B.   The items.

1.   The boards of the Tabernacle.

2.   The bars of the Tabernacle.

3.   The pillars and sockets of the Tabernacle.

4.   The pillars of the court.

5.   The sockets, pins, cords, and all instruments of the court.

C.   Each person shall be responsible for a particular item.

1.      Today everybody says, "Let somebody else do it."

2.   So nobody does it.


IV. Verse 34-49 - The numbering of the workers in the tribe of Levi (From 30-50 years old)

A.  Verse 34-37 - Kohath  - 2,750.

B.   Verse 38-41 - Gershon - 2,630.

C.   Verse 42-45 - Merari  - 3,200.

D.  Verse 46-49 - Total   - 8,580.